- - Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Gillette company is getting well-deserved blowback this week over their “toxic masculinity” shaving cream ad, which has many viewers signaling for a time out. Masculinity is not toxic, but in fact life-protecting and life-nurturing, just as much as femininity is.

When a ship goes down, men declare “Women and children first!” See the monument the women survivors of the Titanic put up in Washington to honor the men who lived and died by the code of the gentleman. Sadly that monument is mostly ignored today. Modern feminists ignore it completely because it suggests to the visitor that there might be some differences between men and women.

What Gillette and others who use the term “toxic masculinity” mean is clear enough from the ad, but really there needs to be a better shorthand term for “men acting badly.”

Also, Gillette decided to ignore a large elephant in the room. Like the rest of the civic, cultural, political and artistic elite of our country, it refuses to call out our country’s most flagrant and vile promoters of a barbaric template for masculinity: the rap music industry. Everyone knows the reason rap gets a free pass (although none dares say it out loud) and the news media can’t or won’t actually publish the sickening and savagely misogynistic lyrics that are at the core of what sells.

I’m fine with Gillette raising the issue of “toxic masculinity,” but I bet it would never directly criticize rap’s sewer of abuse against women, abuse that is a disgrace to both our civilization and the music industry that actually hands out awards to these so-called ‘recording artists.’ Anyone who buys the argument that “It’s just words” has no idea of how young boys and men are saturated in their formative years with the profoundly poisonous “lessons” rap teaches: Girls and women exist for your pleasure only, so abuse them, humiliate them and throw them away.



If women — and men — won’t dare confront the powerful cultural forces behind the problem, how can anyone expect much to change?

DAVID BURNS

Springfield, Va.

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